For fans of contemporary art and architecture, Punta della Dogana is a must-visit destination: a vast 15th century complex situated at the mouth of the Grand Canal, which until the 1980s served as the city’s Sea Customs House. After twenty years of abandonment, it was acquired by the Pinault Collection in 2007, and following a lengthy restoration project by celebrated architect Tadao Ando, the building re-opened to the public in 2009 as a space for temporary exhibitions.
The current show, titled “Dancing with Myself”, presents a fascinating display of self-portraits ranging from the 1970s to the present day, examining the importance of the artist’s role as actor and material of his own creations. The exhibition brings together a broad spectrum of artistic practices and languages (photography, video, painting, sculpture and installation), cultures, geographic origins, generations and experiences, to establish a tension between extremely different artistic approaches: melancholy of vanity, ironic play with identity, political biography and existential questioning, the body as sculpture, effigy or fragment of its symbolic substitute.
The exhibition revolves around four themes: Melancholia, Identity Games, Political Autobiographies and Raw Material, and includes around 100 works from the Pinault Collection by artists including Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman, Alighiero Boetti and Maurizio Cattelan, alongside a selection of works on loan from the Folkwang Museum in Essen.
“Dancing with Myself” is on view at Punta della Dogana until 16th December 2018